Tottenham naming rights to be sold

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The Independent Online

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has confirmed that the club are planning to sell naming rights of their proposed new 60,000-seater stadium - spelling the end for White Hart Lane.

The plans for the new ground include parts of the existing site, but the stadium will be located to the north of the current one and will carry a sponsor's name.

In their financial results released to the stock market today, Spurs announced details of the Northumberland Development Project, a large-scale development incorporating leisure facilities, public space and housing as well as the new stadium.

Levy told Sky Sports News: "Unfortunately it's a function of modern day finance - absolutely there will have to be naming rights on the stadium.

"It's going to be a new stadium so it won't be White Hart Lane. If we want things to progress, things have to change."

Levy denied that the new plans would have any effect on new manager Harry Redknapp's transfer budget, but did concede that it would be a "limited" one in January nonetheless.

"The stadium has no impact on our transfer policy," he confirmed.

"When Harry took the job we had a conversation about the current squad and we agreed we have the talent here. One or two small changes maybe but generally we have the talent here.

"There may be limited transfer funds available (in January) but the main transfers take place in the summer.

"Harry's confident and I'm confident that we can move up the table."

While the club's financial results made positive reading - for the year ending June 30 2008 turnover was up 11% and the building of a new training centre is expected to start next year - it will undoubtedly be the stadium plans which please supporters most.

The Tottenham board pushed ahead with proposals for a larger stadium with a season ticket waiting list of around 22,000 but were conscious of the importance of remaining in the Haringey area.

Other sites were considered but ultimately it was decided their current location, plus land adjacent to it, was the most suitable option.

Levy said: "With a waiting list for season tickets of over 22,000 and club membership levels of over 70,000, our need for an increased capacity stadium has been clear for all to see for some time.

"We diligently spent considerable time reviewing our options and the news that our supporters had been waiting for came this month when we announced our intention to remain in Tottenham, confirming the Northumberland Development Project - a world class scheme incorporating a new stadium with a capacity of 60,000, a club museum, new shops, restaurants, homes and important public space.

"Having reviewed our stadium options it was clear that there were a limited number of alternative sites to our current location and following discussions with Council bodies, the LDA, Transport for London and local and central government officials, redeveloping the existing site emerged as the most viable route.

"We have spent five years buying and taking options over property around the current stadium site to enable us to either develop locally or to gain the critical mass to achieve a substantial site sale as a contribution to a relocation.

"To date this includes almost 60 separate property transactions, including 40 residential and potentially 160 commercial properties at a commitment of £44million."

Levy revealed the planning process is likely to begin next year.

"The public consultation period will now begin and we would hope to submit a planning application in 2009," he said.

"I am personally delighted that we have been able to put forward a viable option which we know to be the fans' favourite - remaining at the club's spiritual home."

Levy continued: "It's something we've been looking at for a number of years. The priority was to sort the first team, get European football and get the new training centre. Now we're coming to a solution for the stadium.

"We're a big club but if we want to be up there with the bigger clubs in Europe we need to have a bigger stadium.

"We can't satisfy the demand for season tickets; the next generation can't get tickets."

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